THE CHURCH IS A SELLOUT FOR JUSTICE
By Linda G.
The church scares people into submission. The slave owners used God to make the slaves scared of speaking up, of speaking against the terrible and unjust way that they were being treated. There are a lot of people who think if they run up in a Church, God will protect them and they will never have to pay for any wrongdoing against anyone because God will save and forgive them, and that’s fucked up. Knowing damn well when we wrong others or hurt others it will come back to you in full force and the only way to get justice for wrongdoing that was done to us is to get it ourselves. God is not going to get it. He’s gonna sit back and relax as He’s been doing and let all these evil motherfuckers get away with the killing and oppression of everybody.
If there is a God, why does he let Oscar Grant, Kenneth Harding, Trayvon Martin, Alan Blueford, Kayla Moore, Kimani Gray, and others die in the hands of the police? If I was a God I certainly wouldn’t be upholding the police who killed them, or having everyone bow at the police’s feet like they’re some fucking Gods.
We can’t expect God to fix the schools or our economy. Or to fix the racial injustices in our society. I am so sick of hearing people say “Oh don’t worry, let God handle it.” Or: “vengeance isn’t mine, it’s the lord’s.” And what vengeance is this? And when will He do it? Because every day I look around, someone’s either dead or missing and there’s no suspects or even clues who did it. So when does He give out this vengeance? And why not right away?
The Church’s so-called belief in God is only meant to control people. Not to empower people. Because if people didn’t have anything to fear, they could not be controlled. And they would know that the justice of this world is not justice for people of color and low income people.
The Church in my experience, as well as the bible, tells stories and prophecies that make people afraid, and make them scared to speak out and take actions against the problems of the world. The Bible gives us false hope and sense of security to people to make them think that if they just believe and trust in God that everything will be ok.
And it won’t.
Some church systems pimp people, and sometimes take income from elderly people who are on a limited once-a-month income. But these elderly people are required and guilted into give the pastor of the church a certain amount each month. This is despicable of the church to do, because for a lot of people out here, it’s so hard to live day by day. So why would they take money away, telling them that God is going to make it better for them or get them more money and not to worry?
I myself was molested several times in the Church, by members of the Church, when I was a little girl. I always remember having to wear a dress, even though I hate dresses. I guess it made it easier for the Deacons of the Church to molest me. That way when my grandparents made me sit on the Deacon’s laps and put their fingers up my vagina, it make it ok, because we were at the Church of God, and he forgives everything and everybody. Especially if you give money to the Church.
With the money that the Church gives to some pastors, they buy new cars, new homes, new clothes, new shoes, all the things that many of the Church members can’t afford. My baby-daddy is also a Deacon in a church, but this man smokes weed, snorts heroin, and beats his wife. He is currently incarcerated for doing these things. So you want me to put my trust in a God that doesn’t even make a man pay child support or provide any finances for my child? But he would run the Church every Sunday with his holier-than-thou attitude because the Church protected him. The Church defends this kind of behavior by telling them that God will forgive them and everything will be ok.
The church says that we should abide by the laws of the land, that we should not protest the wrongful doings of the police or the issues of the world, that we should let God handle them. But there are scriptures in the Bible that say we should not be complacent in this world with Man’s laws. The Church ignores these scriptures. The Church doesn’t empower people to protest, but to regress into silence, to let God handle all our problems. When they know damn well nothing will change or get better unless we do something about it.
When Alan Blueford was murdered by a cop, they held a police community meeting in a church because the cops thought they would be safe there, that no one would protest or say anything about the lies that the police tried to give us about Alan Blueford. When Police Chief Jordan came in, he explained what the different agencies in the police department that played a part in the investigation of the death of Alan Blueford. In other words, he had a bunch of his flunkies speak, all of whom tried to tell us that this young man’s murder is being thoroughly investigated. We know this is a lie. Then they had the nerve to tell everyone to write questions down to ask the Chief. With about a hundred people in the room writing questions down, we thought we would get some answers. But it was a lie and a waste of time, because he only ended up answering three questions. I forgot what the questions were, but they were very relevant and good question regarding the murder, such as how long was he laying on the ground before they removed him? One member of the audience yelled out that it was four hours and the police chief denied it, he said he didn’t know how long, which was also a lie.
A lot of us in that audience got irritated because we knew he was lying — in the Church of all places! Still he felt comfortable because he had already aligned with the Pastor of the church in this evil plot to cover up information and to protect the police. At that point, we stood up and turned our backs to the Chief with our fists in the air. Then the police chief conveniently decided the meeting was over and started to exit with his goons surrounding him. That’s when a lot of us started yelling “Justice for Alan Blueford” as loud as we could. We marched him out of the church to his car, chanting “Liar! Why are you protecting these bastards?” and letting him know that he was just as guilty as the police who shot Blueford. Confrontations got heated between some of the officers and comrades. The Church Pastor escorted the police chief to his car , trying to protect him from the protesters and telling us to go home. We continued to chant in front of the church, then another Church member gave us a go-home speech.
We decided to leave because we were told that the family of Alan Blueford did not want this kind of action at a church. I am really confused now. I don’t know what kind of justice his family is looking for. What kind of justice are they hoping to gain through the Church? I believe the police had a meeting there because they knew the pastor would protect them and keep the meeting under their control.
On the way home, the police arrested a young man who was particularly vocal at the Church. They waited until he left the Church to arrest him. The fucking cowards didn’t have the guts to do it while everyone was around. Why did they arrest him? Because he had the courage to speak up in front of everyone and they were humiliated. They charged him with 6 counts of assault on an officer, though he didn’t touch anyone. He spent two nights in jail although the charges were dropped, and charged him instead with disturbing the peace.
The Alan Blueford event sparked me to write these thoughts down, but it made me think back on my whole life. Back when I was a kid my grandfather was always telling us to be quiet, to be quiet in church. So I’m writing this because I’m tired of being quiet and keeping silent about how fucked up the Church’s practices are.
Last spring, I participated in organizing a lot of Barbeque community events with Occupy Oakland and flyered around the communities where the barbeucues were being held, and I reached out to several churches. These churches said they would come out and support us, but none of them ever showed up! That’s because in their mind they were thinking that God wouldn’t want them to participate in these kind of events that shun the police and encourage people to get up and fight for their rights in the streets.
The Church aint shit. You shouldn’t sit around being quiet waiting for God or Church people to help you get justice for any thing that’s fucked up in this society. People who run these institutions for God are the most Evil people of all.
Because I’m from the south, and everyone there went to Church. You had to go to church or else you were considered a ‘sinner’ or ‘outcast’. I vowed I would never go to church again once I grew up.
In Oakland I’ve seen the same kinds of practices happen in churches, and I am disgusted by it. And sometimes we think of Churches as institutions that are supposed to uplift and empower people. But all the Church does is create another sanctuary for the police and other entities to feel protected. The Church tells people that the police are good even when they’ve murdered an unarmed young man. The Church turns a blind eye to domestic violence, preaching that a man and woman should stay together regardless of whether she is being abused. Also there is so much perversion in the churches, where they have the nerve to be hiding priests from being prosecuted for molesting children. And we ask ourselves how can this happen? It is because they give these patriarchal roles to men who totally abuse their power and think they can get away with anything because they are Of God and he will forgive them. Now if this isn’t some sick shit I don’t know what is. Yet these are the people we are told to turn to in moments of crisis.
People talk about god because they want that sense of security. They want something to believe in. They want the feeling that somebody has their back and somebody’s gonna help them work out situations. Whats really going to help us work through our problems is to get together and fight this fucked up system, not to go to church and repent, to stand up and get justice for ourselves. I wish I had something, some kind of material, some kind of bible, some kind of political justice bible to share with all the people who are thinking about turning to the church for support, people who have lost children to violence, people who are struggling to survive, or people who are looking to say clean and sober, people looking for justice. But I don’t have that. The only thing I could tell you is that you should use your strength and your voice for protesting and fighting against this fucked up system, not to participate in churches that care more about money, hierarchies, and supporting the police than about the people.
I hear that some churches do support the struggle, but I’ve never seen one and I will never let any church or organization silence me, not even God.
So when we talk about shutting down the banks, destroying capitalism, patriarchy, racism, and all that, the Church needs to be on the list too! Because the church is just another fucked up corporation that supports capitalism and takes money from people and supports patriarchy and racism and homophobia. The Church is not for the people, it’s a business and it would not run unless the members of the church put money in just like any other corporation. So when we have conversations shutting those other fuckers down, we need to shut some Churches down too.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE, NOT CHURCHES.
Love, Linda G
For more thoughts on this topic,
Moral Combat: Black Atheists,
Gender Politics, and the Values Wars
by Sikvu Hitchison